Over the past few days I have been 'accused' of a number of things - and a number of questions raised. If 'putting your head above the parapet' is unacceptable then I am just about to enter the realms of the unacceptable.
The mission I follow is to get and give our youngest children the best possible opportunities. I have spent 40+ years thinking, considering, making mistakes, learning, developing, changing and have been influenced by many thoughts and discoveries. I am happy to concede that I am still learning. I also want other people to do the same.
What we should strive for is providing the best opportunities - starting with the sparkle of understanding from us big people and concluding with finding and eliminating the unacceptable.
Accept NO LESS
A dear friend is concerned that most of the 'trends' are started with the best of intentions - then get bastardised- mainly through ignorance or greed. This then waters down the validity of those intentions - and so we seek more and different - rather than confronting the issues and we then accept many of these compromises and exploitations. I have to say I agree with her.
I believe that if you are "Reggio based" - then you don't understand Reggio - if you think computers and screens are acceptable - you don't understand technology and their affect on the brain - if you believe that outdoors is something you do for a few minutes a day and a Wednesday Afternoon in 'a forest'- you don't understand free flow and its importance. If loose parts are bought as packs rather than developed - you don't understand loose parts (nor the economics of develop over purchase).
I KNOW there are a growing number of settings that are moving in the direction of open ended resources, free thinking (owned choice by the child), routines being reduced or eliminated, no screens until 7 years, art studios over a morning art session that gets cleared away, sleeping outside and encouraging risk and challenge, keeping the interiors simple, giving children open access to choose.
I DON'T CARE if these are in nurseries, playgroups, school settings, at home or anywhere else PROVIDED the people developing them are either in this modus operandi or working hard towards it.
I don't want trendy acronyms to mask the chance of parents really seeing what we are doing - honestly and respectfully. 'ITMP' - the acronym for In The Moment Planning - many of us have been following the lead of children for many years IT'S NOT NEW.
I don't want to accept that 'others' - whether OfSTED, Head Teachers, great sales people (for all of those essentials that I see purchased unnecessarily) are holding us back - choose to be different and show how well it works.
Let's make children really ready for school as they develop a passion for discovery and learning (and try to hang on to them at least until they are 5 1/4 - until we finally win the 7 year battle....) and say no to compromises.
Join us if you are committed - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - or come join us at www.internationalplayiceland.com and see what a society who has practiced this for generations has achieved.